Despite the ubiquity of digital devices, Millennials, in many instances are discovering the joy of analog.
From writing in Moleskin notebooks, listening to vinyl records, playing board games and breaking out the crayons with adult coloring books…Millennials are embracing things they can hold in their hands, that neither vibrate nor glow. We could call it simply nostalgia…or would that miss the point?
With the recent longing for what was deemed obsolete not so long ago, people — mainly young people — have a desire to touch, feel, and create using more than their thumbs. It is the tangibility of the physical that appeals.
According to David Sax in his best-selling book, The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter, these “analog experiences can provide us with the kind of real-world pleasures and rewards digital ones cannot,” he writes, and “sometimes analog simply outperforms digital as the best solution.” Pen and paper can give writers and designers a direct means of sketching out their ideas without the complicating biases of software, while whiteboards can bring engineers “out from behind their screens” and entice them “to take risks and share ideas with others.”
Sax also suggests, board games have little to do with the games themselves, and more with the desire to do something with other people — unlike video games. “People still love to be with people and own real things, because real people and real things matter.”
It is not just writing on paper that is making a comeback. Reading from paper is also showing a resurgence. E-book sales have slowed, Sax notes, and though almost no one has figured out how to make money from online publishing, many printed magazines still thrive — with young people as their new print subscribers, perhaps enjoying the novelty of the physical publication.
What do you find more satisfying or memorable, to read an actual book, newspaper or direct mail piece or reading the same content online? Many find that the internet can be a time-consuming trip with no beginning, middle or end.
All told, Sax points out how analog experiences enhance digital creativity and how humans benefit from what both have to offer. The tactile experience that comes from a well-crafted piece of print marketing is something that still delivers. Even better when teamed with a creative online experience.
Your turntable’s not dead … neither is print.